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The making of a super-model (a virtual one)

Shudu is a supermodel, a virtual one, created using a computer. Credit: Cameron-James Wilson

Computer graphics and animation graphics have become so good to trick our eyes into believing that what we see is real.

Cameron-James Wilson, a British photographer has created his own supermodel, Shudu, that can do the catwalk (in a video…) as well as a real model.

The result is actually so good that several people voiced against it because -according to them- it was a lousy trick to steal jobs from real models! The fashion industry is a 2 trillion $ business and it is undergoing a digital transformation, as so many other businesses. The coming of enhanced fabrics with smart materials that will be able to change as you are wearing them (both in shape, texture and colour) will create a new wave of fashion where you are likely to get a dress and use it as a platform to be customised at your whim as you dress up in the morning and even during the day. You will be buying digital fashion and download it on your dress as you walk around. There will be copying and paste from your friend dress onto your, you will buy apps that will let you personalise your dress and so on. Imagination is the limit.

Cameron gave life to his model on Instagram and it became a digital influencer with over 144,000 followers (as of September 15th, up form 60,000 in March). Another digital influencer, Lil Miquela, who made the headlines on NY Times and Financial Times is believed to be an avatar but this has not been confirmed by her/its agent. Just to show how difficult it is becoming to tell real from artefact in the digital space.

 

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the New Initiative Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He is a member of the IEEE in 2050 Ad Hoc Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.